We’re living in the wellness age.
As a society we’re looking for ways to bring more rituals into our lives for well-being and balance.
It seems like everything around us has been wellness-ified from washing the dishes as a moment for mindfulness to elaborate bath scaping.
Regardless of how wellness-focused our modern era is, we can learn the most about well-being by looking back at the ancient world.
When we think about it — it’s no surprise that ancient wellness rituals were able to hold the test of time.
Our ancient ancestors lived much closer to the natural world. They understood nature’s power to teach and heal on a deep level. Something that we have distanced ourselves from today.
The ancient world was in tune with the natural rhythm. They watched, listened, and learned from what lessons nature had to teach. The result was a sophisticated holistic approach to wellness that still works today.
Across the ancient world, different well-being practices were being developed simultaneously. While they, unfortunately, didn’t have access to learn about the faraway societies and their rituals, today we do.
We can bring ancient rituals from every culture into our daily lives for a holistic well-being approach that’s backed by nature.
Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links, meaning that I will earn from qualifying purchases made. With that in mind, my promise to you is to only recommend things that I truly stand behind.
Ancient Wellness Rituals:
Dating all the way back to ancient Egypt and also popular in the Roman Empire, Fangotherapy is using the detoxifying powers of mud, to cleanse our skin, improve skin texture and reduce muscle aches.
Now before you go outside and start digging up your yard to get some fresh mud you should know that not all mud is created equal.
Fangotherapy uses mud from lakes, saltwater seas, hot springs, and volcanic ash. These muds are rich in minerals that give the mud their healing benefits.
Fangotherapy Without the Price of the Spa
While many wellness spas offer some type of service rooted in Fangotherapy, you don’t have to break the bank to reap the benefits of mud.
You can find fangotherapy mud masks that fit any budget. Just make sure that it’s good quality mud that has the essential minerals— look out for sulfur, magnesium and zinc.
Another tip if you’re going to dabble in self-application of fangotherapy is to use a brush to apply the mud. You can use any *clean* makeup brush or get a specific mud mask applicator brush like this one.
This helps with keeping the dirt on your hands out of the mud and therefore off your face. It also makes application easier, by keeping your hands clean during the process.
My favorite muds are:
Dating back thousands of years in Tibet, sound baths are an ancient meditative practice.
Using sound to create vibrations, a sound bath creates an environment for a deep state of relaxation.
If you’ve been wanting to get into mediation, but you can’t seem to be able to get into it, a sound bath could help. The vibrations and sounds make it easier to sit and release our thoughts without the discipline of doing it in silence.
It’s as if your mind is unable to focus on anything besides the strange noises it is hearing. This places you in a meditative state almost immediately, without any “effort.”
Sound baths have many wellness benefits, but most of all they will leave you feeling less tense, mentally clear, and relaxed.
Bringing Sound Baths into Your Home
I love to go to a studio sound bath whenever possible, but you can all gain the benefits of a sound bath at home. There are many Spotify and Youtube playlists that offer sound baths.
You can also create your own soundscapes by using singing crystal bowls and gongs.
Keep in mind that each crystal bowl has a unique note for different chakras. I love this one in particular, which is for the heart chakra.
If you’re on a budget you can get a Tibetan Singing Bowl set for around $10. If you want to go all-in and get a gong, I can recommend this mini table gong, which is equally beautiful in sound and aesthetic.
Ayurveda really deserves its own article breaking down the different rituals within its large umbrella, but for now, I will keep it simple.
Ayurveda dates all the way back to the 2nd century BC with its roots stemming from the Indian subcontinent.
Its literal translation means “life science” and its foundation is finding balance in life, based on your diet, lifestyle, and way of thinking.
Ayurveda is extremely personalized, so the rituals within Ayurveda like breathwork, herbal teas, and self-massaging are different depending upon your Dosha or makeup of Vatta, Pitta, and Kappa.
You can find your unique Ayurvedic fingerprint by taking this free online quiz.
As I dive deeper into Ayurveda I will write more in-depth articles about it, so be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to know when they are out.
Almost every ancient culture had some sort of bathing ritual. In Japan, it revolves around the Onsen, or the thermal springs.
The Japanese onsen culture can be traced to the Nihon Shoki, one of Japan’s oldest books that was published in the 6th century.
Since Japan is geographically right on the “Pacific Ring of Fire”, the island country is blessed with over 25,000 naturally occurring hot springs.
While historically the hot springs were thought to have mystical powers, today people still go to the springs to indulge in the benefits of the mineral-rich waters.
In order to get certified as an official Onsen, the ground must have 1 of 19 specific minerals within a certain distance from the spring.
The therapeutic properties of the spring are said to promote healthy skin, reduce aches and pains, and even boost the immune system.
Not to mention the relaxing quality of sitting in 25°C surrounded by beautiful Japanese nature.
Try it at home
While you might not be able to travel to Japan to visit a real Onsen, there’s no stopping you from turning your bathtub into an Onsen-like experience.
First set the soundscape with a sounds of nature playlist or youtube video.
I also like to bring all my plants into the bathroom to make it feel a little more “natural”.
Upgrade your bathwater with mineral-rich salts or oils, you can even order minerals from an authentic Onsen spring. Then simply just sit back and relax in your tub.
Cacao ceremonies are rooted in religious rituals of ancient Native Mesoamerican cultures.
During a cacao ceremony, you drink raw cacao that has been heated with milk or water for a ritualistic practice of self-renewal.
Raw cacao has many wellness benefits in and of itself. Namely, it has an active ingredient in it called theobromine — which is considered the “Food of the Gods.”
This is why cacao ceremonies were performed at many religious gatherings such as marriage or baptism.
Today cacao ceremonies are used as a facilitator for self-reflection because our physical body relaxes when we drink the potent raw cacao, allowing us to look inward.
Making Your Own Cacao Rituals
You can incorporate a cacao ceremony into your morning routine to replace your coffee ritual. Or make it a weekly ritual where you take a “higher dose” in the evening to go inward and reflect.
If you want to have a guided cacao ceremony, there are plenty of youtube videos that will guide you through your first cacao ritual.
You can find my favorite cacao paste on Amazon.
I like to heat it up with hazelnut milk with a splash of cinnamon and honey. This cuts the bitterness and makes it a really enjoyable experience.